Do you have any idea about Rome hop on hop off sightseeing bus tours? But overwhelmed by the long list of tourist attractions in Rome? Have no idea which one to visit first? Not just visiting first you can’t even decide which spots to visit even? Then this blog post is just for you.
I know Rome can be overwhelming but there are a few obligatory landmarks which you just can’t miss. No matter what you are looking for, antiquity or the Christian faith Rome can offer all. You just have to know where to look.
Visiting any tourist spot is not at all a waste in Rome. Even the street views are beautiful. But as a tourist, I know you expect to get the best worth of your vacation in a limited time. Hence you can’t visit all the spots.
Here I will give you the top 10 tourist attractions of Rome which you just can’t miss. Specially visiting museums of Vatican tickets skip the line, purchased from the authorized tour service provider.
I’ve tried to keep a balanced combination of places that have history, artistic or visual value. So that your tour doesn’t become monotonous. Let’s begin with the number 10.
10 Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is a famous landscape garden in Rome. Countless number of tourists visit it every year. There is no entrance fee for the Villa Borghese Gardens. If you want to visit the museums and galleries in the park then you have to purchase tickets separately, which you can get through Rome Tour Tickets.
History: Villa Borghese is situated in the Borghese garden itself. As the garden has a long history of centuries, so does the villa. Let’s see its history in a quick timeline.
In 1605 Cardinal Scipione Borghese began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome. it’s built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio. Scipione Borghese himself Developed the initial sketches. The gardens were specifically developed for the Villa Borghese Pinciana
Much of the garden’s former formality was remade In the 19th century. It was given landscape form for the English taste. Though it was always open still after The commune of Rome it was officially given to the public in 1903.
Structure: the structural presence of the villa Borghese and the garden is overwhelming. It’s the third-largest public park in Rome (80 hectares or 197.7 acres)
Things to do: you must see Galleria Borghese and have a boat ride if you are in the Villa Borghese.
9 Spanish steps
Spanish steps are a set of wide stairs Named after the nearby Spanish Embassy. It is located on the eastern side of the old city center. Now it has turned into one of the tourist attraction icons of Rome.
History: The Spanish Steps have been in Rome since 1723. It was designed by Francesco De Sanctis. The funding came from a French diplomat named Stefano Gueffier. It was built to work as a link between Trinità dei Monti church and the Spanish Embassy.
Structure: the unique design and elegance of Spanish steps have gained popularity. It has a total of 138 steps to climb. If you are not that much of a stair person you can take the lift. which is right next to the metro station.
Things to do: Spanish steps are usually starting or mid-way breakpoints of Rome walking tours. People used to relax and take a break. But since 2019, you can no longer sit on the Spanish Steps. Eating on the steps is also forbidden. So you are left with only admiring and climbing the steps.
You can also Do Some Shopping in the surrounding area. Though the prices are higher there than usual. Still, there’s no harm in doing some window shopping in the area.
8 Alter of the fatherland
Locally known as Altare Della Patria is another famous tourist spot which you might miss out on. That’s why I am mentioning it here. It was built to celebrate the magnificence of Rome.
It was built in the honor of Victor Emmanuel II. he was the first king of a unified Italy. The monument is 110 years old. Talented architects such as Giuseppe Sacconi, Ettore Ferrari ,Manfredo Manfredi, Gaetano Koch, Pio Piacentini have contributed to the making of this national monument of rome.
If you want me to give you an overview then it’s a white building featuring two chariots. The best part? It can be spotted from almost everywhere in Rome thanks to its imposing structure and to the location on one slope of Capitoline Hill. but its beauty is something to be seen rather than described.
Things to do
The recommended part of visiting the altar of fatherhood is to access the terrace. You can access the terrace through the staircase for free. But if you are not willing to do that there are two panoramic elevators to give you a lift.
These were inaugurated in 2007. Besides visiting the terrace, you can visit the museum. You will also find other spaces hosting temporary exhibitions which are worth a visit for an art lover.
7 Roman Forum
The Latin name for the roman forum is Forum Romanum. It’s a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several ancient Roman monuments.
The history of the roman forum is built in centuries. Most of it is ancient and without any vivid evidence. It is believed that The Roman Forum was used for
- Public meetings
- Law courts
- Gladiatorial combats
- Open-air markets.
Roman Forum is situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. The structures or I should say the remaining structures of this forum can be categorized into three categories:
- Ruins or reconstructions
- Fragments of ancient structures
- Churches of the Christian era.
Things to do
Unlike other ancient roman structures, you are actually allowed to walk along with the ancient Roman forum without any restrictions. So explore.
6 Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman stadium primarily used for chariot racing and religious activities.
It was planned and built by Julius Caesar. Though it has lost most of its primitive form.
One of the famous fires of Rome damaged the stadium. history blames emperor Nero for that brutal fire. He caused the fire and fled away selfishly.
In the attempt to repair the stadium gained the dimensions it has today. The last game at Circus Maximus was organized around 549 A.D
It was the largest stadium in the ancient Roman Empire. It still has that aura. The stadium is located between the Aventine and Palatine hills
Things to do
It’s an open space for concerts and events. If you are lucky with time then you might attend any of that. Unless walking inside the path and imagine chariots running, gladiators fighting, and the public roaring. And have the full taste of ancient Roman entertainment.
5 Trevi Fountain
It’s a fountain located in the Trevi district in Rome. hence it’s called the trevi fountain. It was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi
Trevi fountains Construction started in 1732. It began with the efforts of Architect Nicola Salvi and reached its completion with another architect named Giuseppe Pannini. It was open for public visits since May 22, 1762.
It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. Also one of the most famous fountains in the world. If you take the measurement into account then its Height is 26.3 meters and width 49.15 meters.
Things to do
Trevi fountain has one of its own cute traditions. It is said that if you throw a coin in the trevi fountain you’ll return to The Eternal City of Rome. the outcomes changes with the number of coins thrown. For instance.
One coin – you’ll return to Rome
Two coins – you’ll return and fall in love, and tossing
Three coins – you’ll return, find love, and marry.
Funny isn’t it? I cant assure you if it’s gonna work with love luck or not. But surely there’s no harm in giving it a shot.
4 Vatican museum
Vatican museum is the public museum of Vatican City. and one of the most hyped attractions of Rome.it is filled with renowned Roman sculptures and the most important masterpieces of the Renaissance.
The construction of this magnificent museum started in 1506. in the early 16th century, the museum was founded by Pope Julius II. in 1773 Pope Clement XIV opened it to the public. It moved to the main floor of the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran In 1987.
The museums contain roughly 70,000 works. Among them, only 20,000 are on display. It has 9 large rooms classically decorated with arts and sculptures. Each room has its own personality and sense of creativity to offer.
It’s a timeless example of religious architecture. But it’s an art museum. Two in one.
Things to do
If you are an art lover there is a long list of observing for you is waiting in the way of Vatican museum. I’ll need a separate article to give all the details. But if you ask me for some quick suggestions, here they are,
- The Sistine Chapel
- The Maps Room
- Apollo Belvedere
- Raphael’s Transfiguration
- The Spiral Staircase
Obviously, there is more to see in the Vatican museum.
Pantheon is an ancient Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. it was one of the most influential buildings of ancient Rome.
In Greek mythology, the word pan means “all” and theos means “gods”. Hence it is dedicated to all gods. It was built and dedicated for worship between A.D 118 and 125. At 80 A.D The original Pantheon was destroyed in a fire. Emperor Domitian rebuilt it but unfortunately, it burned down again in 110 A.D. mysterious, right?
Being 142 feet in diameter, the domed ceiling was the largest when it was built in ancient times. The simple but gigantic architecture of the pantheon will make you go “ how did they build that thing on 118 A.D. how?” it is built with bricks and concrete.
Its structure can be divided into three sections:
- Portico with granite columns,
- Massive domed rotunda and
- The rectangular area connecting the other two sections.
Things to do
Pantheon is an amazing mixture of mythology, structure, simplicity, and sculpture. Don’t miss,
- Porch of Pantheon
- Raphael’s Tomb
- Fontana del Pantheon
- The Tomb of Vittorio Emanuele
2 St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is considered to be “the greatest of all churches of Christendom.” hence it has another level of significance in the Christian world.
It is the burial site of Saint Peter. Also, many more popes whom ill mention later. The credit to its jaw-dropping architecture goes to Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Raphael, and much more talented artists.
Along with Saint Peter, Pope John Paul II, Pope Julius II are buried here. Its construction started on April 18, 1506. It was open for public visits on November 18, 1626.
St. Peter’s Basilica is a perfect example of renaissance architecture and baroque architecture. with its gigantic dome, the monument’s height is 137 m.
Things to do
St. peter’s basilica still Functions as a Church. So you can visit with religious purpose and artistic both. If you like you can also join the papal audience on Wednesdays. In this, even the pope himself addresses the audience.
It is the living breathing example of Roman antiquity. Which you just can’t afford to miss if you are in Rome. It is graciously part of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
The colosseum is over 1,900 years old. Vespasian began its construction in AD 72. Finally, it was inaugurated in the year AD 80. It was built with the intention of using it as an entertainment venue.
Gladiator fights, animal hunts, and even mock naval battles were performed here to entertain a large amount of audience. But in 1349 an earthquake damaged the Colosseum a lot.
The Colosseum is an inspiration for sports arenas. The oval Roman plan for the stadium is still followed by modern-day football stadium design. and it is the world’s largest amphitheater.
Things to do
Colosseum is a lifetime experience. I can bet you you haven’t seen anything like this. But don’t get overwhelmed cause there are few sections that you should not overlook. For instance,
- The Arch of Constantine
- Ludus Magnus
- The Arena Floor
- The Underground
- The Gate of Death
Rome is the city of art, myth, and magic. There are stories and history in every corner. You should savor each of them. But if you are running out of time I recommend visiting adobe mentioned top 10 at least.
To make the best out of your time and visit try to take a guided tour. It will help you to get the true essence of rome.